An Exclusive Walk With Adam Weinberg Through the New Whitney Museum Building

The wow factor is high at the new Whitney.


It’s no secret that the much-hyped and long-awaited Whitney Museum of American Art building—designed by Renzo Piano and perched at the southern tip of the elevated High Line park on Gansevoort Street in the meatpacking district of Manhattan—has been drawing rave reviews even before its official opening on May 1 (see The One Must See Art Event In New York This Week: Opening of the New Whitney Museum and Brian Boucher’s 10 Reasons to be Excited About the New Whitney Museum).

artnet News was among the lucky few let in for a special preview and we definitely see what all the buzz about. The Whitney’s stellar permanent collection looks perfectly at home in the light-filled galleries with sweeping views of the Hudon River to the west, and the West Village and beyond, to the east (see Does The New Whitney Museum Herald a Golden Age for American Institutions and The Whitney’s Hidden Gems: 10 Masterworks Not to Miss In The New Building).

We toured the new building and talked with chief curator Donna De Salvo about installing the first show there, “America is Hard to See.” The title is taken from a poem by Robert Frost, and the exhibition consists of more than 600 works from the museum’s 22,000-piece collection (see Whitney Museum’s Inaugural Show in New Home Spans John Sloan to Yayoi Kusama and Jeff Koons and Whitney Announces the 407 Artists Included in Inaugural Permanent Collection Hang). It provides an immersive look at the history of art in the United States from the beginning of the 20th century to the present.

Keeping in line with its goal of making a splash in its new neighborhood, the museum is hosting a block party this Saturday May 2 on Gansvoort Street, in the spirit of a neighborhood festival. Expect free art, performances, and hands on activities, among other treats.

The Whitney’s longtime director Adam Weinberg talked to us about the challenges and the triumphs of constructing a brand new building in Manhattan from the ground up—and all that he learned about architecture and hurricane preparedness along the way.


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